Affirmation of Welcome:
First Lutheran Church is called to the ministry of reconciliation. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our neighborhood and the world. We celebrate our human family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability, and education.
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We welcome the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of First Lutheran as we journey toward reconciliation through Christ. We specifically welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and commit ourselves to the ongoing work of anti-racism.
We recognize that there are differences among us, but believe that we can love alike even though we may not think alike. We proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in the church and society.
We invite all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.
At its Annual Meeting on January 22, 2017, First Lutheran Church adopted an Affirmation of Welcome and voted to become a Reconciling In Christ congregation.
Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregations publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into the life and ministry of the church. They are accepted onto a national roster maintained by ReconcilingWorks after adopting an affirmation of welcome at the full congregational level. Other denominations use terms like “Open and Affirming” to describe the same concept.
While First Lutheran Church has long been a place where all people and all families have been embraced and accepted, the congregation decided to formalize its welcome to the LGBT community – and to all people who have been historically marginalized by the Church – by adopting an Affirmation of Welcome and becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation.
At our September 2022 council meeting, our church council voted in favor of updating our statement of welcome to include a commitment to anti-racism. While LGBTQIA+ people have always been Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), the mainstream LGBT rights movement often puts forth a predominantly white image and agenda. Our updated statement reminds us that we strive to be a community that celebrates and prioritizes BIPOC people and efforts, especially those who are also part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
We also affirmed our commitment to the following:
- Openness to calling a rostered leader who is LGBTQIA+ and/or BIPOC
- Providing space/sanctuary for LGBTQIA+ community for weddings and blessings
- Making a meaningful financial contribution to ReconcilingWorks annually.
First is now listed as a Reconciling in Christ congregation at: www.reconcilingworks.org.